Extinction Rebellion invites people who are passionate about protecting the planet to take part in regenerative activities such as yoga, music, drumming, singing, meditation, storytelling, theater and more from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7, at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago. Be a part of the global climate emergency movement. Additional actions are planned.
According to Extinction Rebellion representatives, there is a good chance that Greta Thunberg willattend this event in Chicago. All are welcome. More details here.
Students as young as preschoolers left class to make their voices heard at the Chicago Youth Climate Strike on Friday, Sept. 20. Yes, preschoolers. Some in the crowd expressed surprise when three Chicago preschool students stood up to speak at the Federal Plaza rally that day, which occurred after thousands marched there from Grant Park.
This summer households in Oak Park & River Forest tried living plastic-free – or close to it – for 30 days or more as part of the Sally Stovall Plastic-Free/Low-Plastic Summer Challenge. Named in memory of Sally Stovall, who was co-founder of Green Community Connections, this contest helped our community develop new ideas and habits that can put us on a path to a greener way of life.
Here are some takeaways from the winners of the Challenge. Give them a try. Let us know what your favorite plastic-busting tips are. Keep the conversation going on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
August brought an end to another successful completion of Green Community Connection’s youth sustainability leadership program, formerly known as “I Can Fly.” This summer’s program, “Austin Grown,” was a collaboration between GCC and BUILD Chicago, an organization serving Chicago’s at-risk youth since 1969 through gang intervention, violence prevention, and youth development programs.
The 8-week “Austin Grown” program involved 10 students, hailing primarily from the Austin, Garfield Park, and North Lawndale communities of Chicago, including two who returned from GCC’s 2017 pilot cohort.
The struggle to address the climate crisis has unfolded in a wide variety of venues over the past three decades: international conferences, street demonstrations and school strikes, policy advocacy and lobbying events, legislative negotiations, court proceedings and—most recently—a transatlantic sailboat crossing by a Swedish teenager.
In the realm of court proceedings, the most compelling legal challenge to unfettered climate change has come from a group of 21 American youth who have sued their federal government for having failed to act to limit climate change—while profiting by selling the rights for the extraction of coal, oil and natural gas.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby, the volunteer climate policy advocacy organization, held its 10th annual International Conference and Lobby Day this past June in Washington, DC.
The conference began on the afternoon of Saturday, June 8, and lasted through Monday evening. It included advanced seminars on diversity, climate policy and climate communications. Over two days, more than 40 workshops and panel discussions explored structured lobby training for new climate advocates, skill-building and political strategy, and up-to-the-minute lobby training to prepare all the volunteers for the Tuesday Lobby Day.
Pembroke Township, in the southeast corner of Kankakee County, is full of treasures of both place and people. From its black oak savanna to its black rodeo, topography and culture meet to create a one-of-a kind, rural community.
This summer, six area high school students participating in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) documented some of what makes Pembroke so unique via three Young Filmmakers Workshops with Matt Wechsler of Hourglass Films.
The GreenBuilt Home Tour offers you a look inside 18 sustainable, energy-saving homes in Northern Illinois, and allows you to meet the builders, designers, and homeowners who made these homes possible. This all takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 3 and 4.
The tour features two categories of homes: Twelve Certified Green Homes, meaning that third parties have verified their adherence to nationally recognized standards (you can visit these homes on either day of the tour), and six Green Renovation Homes, meaning that owners have embedded sustainable features into green projects (you can visit these on Saturday only).
Out of Oak Park, Forest Park, Maywood and Berwyn, one community earned the title of “greenest suburb” when comparing per capita carbon dioxide emissions, but the winner may surprise you.
Author, researcher and former Oak Park resident Susan Subak will reveal the answer on Wednesday, July 10, when discussing her 2018 book, “The Five-Ton Life: Carbon, America, and the Culture That May Save Us.” The presentation will include Susan’s research on the low carbon culture of west suburban Chicago compared to other environmental leaders on the East Coast, a slideshow and a book signing. The event will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Oak Park Public Library Main Branch, 834 Lake St., in the Veterans Room on the second floor.
A month after losing Sally Stovall (co-founder of Green Community Connections), we are so very thankful for the hundreds of people who reached out to share memories of her, attend a memorial service and even help to continue her work. If you feel inspired to do so, please contact us to help with or attend any of these initiatives.
Sally Stovall Memorial Plastic-Free/Low Plastic Summer Challenge. Plastic-free living was a cause Sally was working on shortly before she passed away. Reduce your plastic waste and compete for a prize and bragging rights.
Join a book discussion of "Braiding Sweetgrass" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, at Trailside Museum of Natural History, 738 Thatcher Ave., in River Forest. Sponsored by the Forest Preserves of Cook County’s Nature Book Club.
This collection of essays was a favorite of GCC’s co-founder, Sally Stovall, who passed away a little more than a month ago. “It opened up a whole new way of looking at things,” she said about the book a few years ago, when she organized a five-week reading group around it. Later, in writing a brief review, Sally wrote, “The stories in each chapter have delighted and nurtured me in a way that I find hard to describe. From the first essay on, I have been sharing my enthusiasm for this book like an evangelist!”
This summer, GCC’s “I Can Fly” mentoring and garden education program is returning, bigger and better than before in the Austin neighborhood. The program has a new name and new energy, thanks to new funding and a stronger partnership with Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development (BUILD), an organization that has been serving at-risk youth in Chicago’s most challenging neighborhoods for 50 years. Their mission is “...to engage at risk youth in schools and on the streets to help them realize their potential and contribute to our communities.”
When most people retire, they kick back, take cruises, and visit the grandchildren. Sally Stovall was not most people. She did, indeed, relish visiting her grandchildren, but after she retired from a career in organizational development, Sally embarked on a new, vibrant career as climate activist and community organizer.
In September 2010, Sally and her partner, Dick Alton, were worried about global warming and decided to hold a community meeting to see if others felt the same way. Out of the woodwork poured a cohort of people with the same concerns --no real surprise in progressive Oak Park.
It happened suddenly, almost overnight. Just 700 feet from young children playing, MAT Asphalt, LLC appeared on the southern border of McKinley Park, at 2055 W. Pershing Rd., in Chicago, in early 2018. The plant produces up to 890,000 tons of asphalt per year.
Almost as quickly, Neighbors for Environmental Justice (N4EJ) formed in response; they are a group of local citizens who claim the plant brings dust and fumes, which could damage children’s lungs, increase rates of asthma, and possibly worse.
Six One Earth Young Filmmakers Workshops started in the heat of summer, on August 11, and finished up amid a winter chill on December 9. Recent art school graduates and accomplished, award-winning film directors taught content, which ranged from stop-motion to live action.
Each day’s news seems to pitch us deeper into the pits of despair: climate change action feels stalled, or worse, rolled back.
According to the latest report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (a body of the world’s most respected scientists from 195 countries), climate change is here, and it’s accelerating faster than many models predicted. What’s more, climate change will usher in catastrophic food shortages and natural disasters by 2040 unless we change course.
For seven months now, a group of 20 people, give or take a few, have been practicing Sacred Wandering at Thatcher Woods, the third Saturday of each month. We start with some community-building conversation, a standing meditation, and then we walk slowly to our first meditation spot where we sit for about 15 minutes, focusing on the nature surrounding us.
At the closing celebration for the One Earth Film Festival, Isaiah Mākar presented his Spoken Word piece, “Earth’s Breakup Letter: Please Don’t Leave Me for Mars,” on March 11, at the Garfield Park Conservatory. Recently, he answered a few questions about his journey from a shy kid to a Spoken Word entrepreneur. This interview is followed by his Spoken Word poem from the closing celebration.
Practicing self-care is essential in 2018. It’s been a year of soul-crushing news about the climate, the state of our democracy, and #metoo. If you enjoy walking, you might try forest therapy. Called forest bathing (shinrin yoku) by the Japanese, this beautiful practice combines mindfulness and a slow stroll in nature, under the direction of a certified guide, often in the company of others.
Green Mountain Energy (GME) Sun Club is partnering with the Park District of Oak Park to provide $100,000 for solar panels, rain harvesting, tea composting and bees at the Oak Park Conservatory.
To secure these funds, the Park District needs your help. Click on the link below to identify actions you and your family will take to help make our community more sustainable and contribute to the overall health of Mother Earth.
The Pivot Arts Festival and Chicago Community Climate Partners will present an evening of Art and Activism from 5:30 to 8:40 p.m. Saturday, June 9, at Loyola University’s Institute for Environmental Sustainability at 6349 N. Kenmore Ave., in Chicago.
The evening begins with a reception and tours of the LEED-certified, sustainable building at 5:30 p.m. A pre-performance panel will convene at 6:30 p.m., before "Not Every Mountain," to discuss the impact of climate change locally, legislative victories, and arts activism.
Local students took top prizes in the One Earth Young Filmmakers Contest at the elementary and middle school levels in both 2018 and 2017. Winning films premiered at the One Earth Film Festival in March at Columbia College along with top films from across the country at high school and college levels. At that time, students were fêted with monetary prizes, certificates, T-shirts, and a reception.
Meet architect, planner and author Douglas Farr from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, at the Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St., in Oak Park. Discuss ideas from his new book, "Sustainable Nation: Urban Design Patterns for the Future." His first book, "Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature" helped shift the focus of urban sustainability from the stand-alone building to the high-performance neighborhood.
Spring has sprung, the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming.
Host a green show & tell event at your block party to explore ways we can do our part to support Mother Nature. You can choose from one of the following topics offered by Green Community Connections and friends or design your own event.
Students at Morton High School worked to solve the real-world problem of the declining monarch population by building a 5,000-square-foot monarch habitat and native garden at the Freshman Center in late April.